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Araschnia levana

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 19 June 2011 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Araschnia levana (NL: Landkaartje / EN: Map / DE: Landkärtchen) is a small butterfly of the Nymphalidae family (forewing about 17-21 mm). When you look at the underside of the wings it is not hard to imagine how this butterfly got it's name. The species is common throughout the lowlands of central and eastern Europe, and is expanding its range in western Europe. The eggs are laid in long strings, one on top of the other, on the underside of stinging nettles, the larval foodplant. It is thought that these strings of eggs mimic the flowers of the nettles, thereby evading predators. The larvae feed gregariously and hibernate as pupae. The Map is unusual in that its two annual broods look very different. The summer brood are blackish with white markings, looking like a miniature version of the White Admiral and lacking most of the orange of the spring brood (this image). This seasonal dimorphism is thought to be related to the diapause (= the delay in development in response to regularly and recurring periods of adverse environmental conditions) which the hibernating pupae of the spring brood undergo.

Image: Lille (BE) - 03/05/2011

Canon EOS 400D 1/1000 second F/5.0 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

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Maggy from Liège, Belgium

Macro parfaite
Bon dimanche

19 Jun 2011 7:45am

Aubélia from Kortrijk, Belgium

Prachtige macro

19 Jun 2011 9:03am

Wiepkjen from Utrecht, Netherlands

Helemaal perfect!

19 Jun 2011 9:46am

Emanuel from Borås, Sweden

Incredible sharpness and overall excellent macro!

19 Jun 2011 10:17am

Loner from Wörgl, Austria

Großartig !

19 Jun 2011 2:37pm

mimicy from Bordeaux, France

Magnifique papillon aux couleurs très particulières .... superbe netteté sur la tête ... félicitations

19 Jun 2011 9:41pm

Canon EOS 400D
1/1000 second
ISO 200
150 mm